For Women, Thanksgiving is Equal Parts ‘Thanks’ and ‘Giving’

When Marketing to Women, Understand the Holiday is a Labor of Love

It was an easy question, but that’s what made it hard to answer.

“What are women thankful for?” the reporter asked me, “What are they thinking about this year?”

We live in tricky times, true, but at Thanksgiving, I think women are thankful for the things they’re thankful for every year, the same things men are thankful for: family, friends, health, jobs, and a long weekend to enjoy the people we haven’t spent enough time with recently.

But it’s not very satisfying to answer, “Well, you know – same old, same old. Women are thankful for the same things as usual, same as men.”

When Marketing to Women, Understand the Holiday is a Labor of Love

In search of an original insight, the question got me wondering whether there’s anything different about Thanksgiving for women compared to men. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized there is: Thanksgiving is doubly meaningful for women, because for us, it’s not just about the “Thanks” but also about the “Giving.”

When Marketing to Women, Understand the Holiday is a Labor of LoveAt Thanksgiving, women call on themselves to give two of their most cherished – if often romanticized – labors of love: the warmth of good food, and the warm moments that memories are made of.

The holiday tradition is to come together with family and friends, the more, the merrier. It’s noisy. It can get complicated, and it’s a ton of work for the women of the tribe. Yet make no mistake – for the most part, we’re happy to do it, because that’s what makes it wonderful.

We feel it’s our job to make everything wonderful. It’s our gift that we know how to do that. And it’s our gift to our families and friends that we really, really care about doing it well.

Women are the family “memory keepers,“ a term I learned when I worked with Kodak. They meant that women are the family photo collectors, the archivists and documentarians who capture key family moments both momentous and mundane and preserve them for posterity. These moments are so important that people often say they’d run back into a burning house to rescue just two things: their pets and their photo albums.

But women see themselves as more than memory keepers – they want to be memory makers. They know that family bonds and the ties that bind lifelong friends together are created and strengthened by experiences; and that experiences are bound into the brain by deep emotion and the senses of smell, taste, touch, sight and sound.

Thanksgiving has all the elements of a potentially perfect, memorable occasion. It’s built on the ritual of a traditional holiday menu, and women work hard to give everyone an experience that’s savory, fragrant, warm, comfortable and happy.

At dinner-time, the table is piled high with comfort food, and it’s a point of pride to create the perfect holiday meal.

Mind you, that’s not easy to do. Every year I’m amazed anew at how hard it is to orchestrate a fairly simple menu – the same one each year, so I’ve had plenty of practice! – and deliver it to the table at that one exact instant when the turkey is carved yet still hot, the potatoes whipped and still fluffy, the rolls browned and not burnt, the stuffing steaming and not yet dried out. It takes days of coordination and preparation, hours of shopping and chopping, and a dawn-to-dinner timetable that moves a dozen dishes forward on parallel paths.

It’s not easy at all, but every year, millions of women give it their best because to women, the turkey dinner is more than just a meal. It’s literally a labor of love, a “work of heart” – a gift of warmth, good food, family and friendship.

We all give thanks. But in making Thanksgiving a day we all treasure, women give more. They give because they love the giving. They are thankful for the love in the room, and the noisy chaos, and even the mishaps that will make a funny story next year.

What are women thankful for? All the same things as men, and then some. Because for us, it’s not just about the “Thanks” but also about the “Giving.”

This entry was posted in Differences between women and men, Marketing to Women, Things women care about and tagged on by .

About Marti

To The Huffington Post, she’s “the High Priestess of Marketing to Women;” to TIME magazine, “the Chief Rabbi of the Sheconomy.” Renowned business guru Tom Peters calls her “the First Lady of Marketing to Women” and says she “is one of the best presenters, male or female, I’ve ever seen.” Marti Barletta shows you how to get more customers, make more money per customer and keep customers loyal longer - simply by getting smarter about women. Her first book, Marketing to Women, is available in 19 languages,” and her latest book, PrimeTime Women, focuses in on the market’s high-spending sweet spot - Boomer women in their mid-life prime – and shows marketers how to use this prime segment’s growth, size and buying power to propel their business for the next 20 years. As the go-to authority on marketing to women, women in leadership and women’s growing role in shaping the 21st century, Barletta has been quoted on CBS, ABC, MSNBC and NPR, as well as in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist, USA Today, Fast Company, TIME, Business Week, Inc., and many other publications worldwide. Ms. Barletta’s consulting clients have included Diageo, Ford, Kodak, Pfizer, Volvo Worldwide and others. A popular speaker internationally, she has enjoyed rave reviews on every continent except Antarctica, including in Australia, Chile, Dubai, Japan and Sweden. She has spoken for hundreds of companies, conferences and associations; and across dozens of industries, including consumer products, financial services, travel and tourism, retail and real estate development, to name a few. She is proud to say that numerous clients have booked her for return appearances. Her dynamic style, command of her subject and passion for her topic make her a popular speaker. Audiences love her practical tactics tailored to the interests of each audience, her lively style and sense of humor, and her memorable stories about men, women and marketing. Specialties:I show you how to attract more customers, keep them longer, and earn more money from every customer simply by getting smarter about today's mightiest market - women.

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